Howdy, y’all, and welcome back to the Box Office Premiership, the only Summer sporting tournament that won’t lead to crushed dreams for those spectating with all their hearts! We have just one month left of our marathon predict-athon and it is still anyone’s game, mainly because we are all quite terrible in our own individual ways. On that note, let’s see how everybody did over July 4th weekend!
Week 7 results
The First Purge (5 Day Weekend): $31,035,945. After a pretty strong start pre-weekend, this basically ended up exactly as I thought it would, particularly with regards to audience reactions (dropped down to a “B-” Cinemascore). That’s a shame, but I’m not about turn down a point as my prediction (Callum Petch) of $33 million ended up being closest. (1 point)
Ant-Man and the Wasp: $76.03 million. Objectively, away from sensationalist Box Office headlines, that’s a pretty solid debut that only really suffers because we expect way bigger from Marvel. But still, oof, that’s gotta sting a bit. One person whom that result won’t sting for, however, is Dominic Hastings whose $90 million prediction, which may have seemed on the lower-end of things last Thursday, was the winning score this time out! (1 point)
Sorry to Bother You: $717,302. Time will tell for certain when it goes Wide(-ish) at month’s end, but it seems like Annapurna Pictures finally got one properly right! They might not have to keep scraping along, barely breaking even, until Bond 26(?) comes out! As for BOP winners, Caleb Burnett straddled the right line with his prediction of $405,000, picking up another vital point to keep a hold of that lead. (1 point)
Whitney: $1,251,945. OK, hands up, this one’s my fault for picking it before a screening number became available. But, in my defence, it’s also the only other Limited/Moderate to have reported numbers this weekend, and we all likely would have overshot it if presented with the theatre number of 452, so I think it worked out. By virtue of betting the biggest ($600,000), Dominic scores themselves their second point of the week! Go Dominic! (1 point)
Total: $109,035,192. And here’s where playing the game comes in handy again. See, all of us severely overestimated Ant-Man and the Wasp… all except Gregory Mucci, whose $48 million prediction, combined with overshooting The First Purge a fair bit, caused his Total to add up at $92,212,000, easily the closest out of any of us and breaking his dry spell on points. Well played, sir. (1 point)
And now, the scoreboard/leaderboard/whatever.
Leaderboard (after Week 7 of 11)
1) Caleb Burnett (10 points)
2) Callum Petch (9 points)
3) Gregory Mucci (7 points)
4=) Kevin Ibbotson-Wight and Dominic Hastings (4 points)
5=) Owen Hughes and Tony Black (1 point)
I think it’s time we blow this scene, get everybody and their stuff together. It’s Week 8. Let’s jam!
(All info correct at time of going to press.)
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Theatre count: 4,200 (Wide)
Studio: Sony Pictures Animation
Dir: Genndy Tartakovsky
Star: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn (voices)
RT score: 62% (Fresh)
Synopsis: With her father Dracula (Sandler) in a depressed funk, Mavis (Gomez) arranges for them both and the extended Hotel family to take a vacation cruise in order to unwind. Whilst there, Drac falls for ship director Ericka (Hahn), the descendent of Van Helsing who is running the cruise for her own nefarious means.
Other info: Third entry in the surprisingly popular Hotel Transylvania series, the first two of which broke September opening records at the time (1 opened to $42.5 million in 2012, 2 opened to $48.4 million in 2015). This one, however, is opening in mid-July, the week after Ant-Man and the Wasp although rather free and clear of the juggernaut that is Incredibles II. Sony Pictures Animation’s last three openings: Peter Rabbit ($25 million in February), The Star ($9.8 million in November 2017), The Emoji Movie ($24.5 million in July 2017). Unlike all three of those, though, this one has (somewhat) positive reviews backing it up!
Caleb: $47 million. Good advertising and I think there’s an audience base for this one. It’ll win the weekend.
Gregory: $36 million.
Dominic: $48 million. Kids love animated sequels.
Callum: $38.3 million. In September, this does HUGE business for a series I am surprised but not wholly unhappy about being as big as it is; I’m talking breaking the $50 mil mark. Mid-Summer, hyper-competitive with lots of choices and Incredibles II still running high, I think it gets swallowed a bit. Respectable, but comparative disappointment, unless those reviews do anything.
Theatre count: 3,700 (Wide)
Dir: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Star: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han
RT score: 51% (Rotten)
Synopsis: An amputee former-FBI agent turned security consultant (Johnson) is framed when a group of terrorists break into the high-tech skyscraper he works for, setting the place ablaze and taking his family hostage, forcing him to get back in and take them down.
Other info: Dwayne Johnson’s last three openings: Rampage ($35.7 million in April 2018), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($36.1 million in December 2017), Baywatch ($18.5 million in May 2017). Director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s previous Wide openings: Central Intelligence also starring Dwayne Johnson ($35.5 million in June 2016), We’re the Millers ($26.4 million in August 2013), Dodgeball ($30 million in June 2004). For other comps, Geostorm opened to $13.7 million in October 2017, San Andreas opened to $54.5 million in May 2015, and Hercules opened to $29.8 million in July 2014 (the last two also starred Dwayne). Universal have been aggressively pushing this and if I see another micro-ad for this movie ever again it will have been way too soon.
Caleb: $36 million. I love Dwayne Johnson and watching him beat up bad guys, but I don’t think this film will do as well as I’d hoped. It’s unfortunate, because I think this film looks pretty entertaining.
Gregory: $47 million.
Dominic: $52 million. This film looks WILD, though it doesn’t look as big as it could have been.
Callum: $35.9 million. The Rock is surprisingly hit-and-miss on openings when you take out franchises. I honestly think I’m overshooting this because, despite Universal’s mega-push, I have no idea why I am supposed to want to see this over anything else. Mission: Impossible is two weeks away!
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
Theatre count: 4 (Limited)
Studio: Amazon Studios
Dir: Gus van Sant
Star: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black
RT score: 74% (Fresh)
Synopsis: On the path to sobriety after an accident leaves him paralyzed from the waist down, John Callahan (Phoenix) finds a new passion in life drawing off-colour newspaper cartoons.
Other info: Based on the memoir of the same name. Premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is director Gus van Sant’s first positively-reviewed film since Milk in 2008. His last three openings: The Sea of Trees ($1,877 from 2 screens in August 2016), Promised Land ($173,915 from 25 screens in December 2012), Restless ($15,467 from 5 screens in September 2011). Amazon Studios’ last 3 limited release openings: You Were Never Really Here also starring Joaquin Phoenix ($132,829 from 3 screens in April 2018), Wonder Wheel ($125,570 from 5 screens in December 2017), Last Flag Flying ($40,558 from 4 screens in November 2017).
Caleb: $19,000. I know about this one, but not sure others do.
Dominic: $100,000. Gus van Sant is still alive?
Callum: $106,250. I’m only going this high cos people turn out to see Joaquin Phoenix. Won’t be surprised if it goes way under.
Shock and Awe
Theatre count: ? (Limited)
Studio: Vertical Entertainment
Dir: Rob Reiner
Star: Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, James Marsden, Milla Jovovich
RT score: 29% (Rotten)
Synopsis: Based on the true story of a group of journalists who seriously investigated the assertions made by the Bush government in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussain had weapons of mass destruction.
Other info: Rob Reiner’s last three openings: LBJ ($1,110,565 from 659 screens in November 2017), Being Charlie ($11,872 from 4 screens in May 2016), And So it Goes ($4,642,329 from 1,762 screens in July 2014). Distributor Vertical Entertainment just put out Gotti ($1,719,902 from 503 screens) and have yet to put out a film on less than 20 screens with an opening higher than $50,000 (closest was Predestination in January 2015 with $44,028 from 20 screens). This film has been available to buy through DirecTV Cinema since mid-June. Something must seriously be wrong with this for it to be getting a release of this sort.
Caleb: $1,335,567. Haven’t heard of this one, but the cast looks great. It’ll do alright.
Dominic: $70,000. Wrong era for this film?
Callum: $12,500. Was Rob Reiner ever an actually good director? Discuss.
Caleb: $84,354,567. The action movies are coming! Will they win the box office in the next few weeks?
Gregory; $83,017,500. Game face.
Callum: $74,318,750. No, seriously, please stop with the endless goddamn Skyscraper mini-ads.
Can you match wits with our elite line-up? Why not share your predictions for the week in the comments or via our various socials? We’ll be back next week with *checks notes* ABBA and Antoine Fuqua. Nothing says “non-stop thrilling action” like ABBA and Antoine Fuqua.